French lawmakers have voted to ban full-length veils in public places, putting France on the road to becoming the second European country to take steps to make wearing the burqa or niqab a criminal offence.

France is home to Europe's largest Muslim minority, with about 5m Muslims.

The law, which must still be approved by the senate, would mean women wearing the veil in public can be fined €150.

It now goes to the constitutional council for a review.

The Belgium lower house of parliament voted in April to ban all clothing that covers or partially covers the face.